The narrator of The Yellow Wallpaper loses her mind following months of confinement in the rented mansion. She tears down the wallpaper and goes completely insane, as her husband John faints at the sight of it.
Toward the end of The Yellow Wallpaper, the narrator’s diary entries change their style and become more concise. She begins to keep secrets from her husband John and his sister Jennie and the reader. The narrator’s obsession with the yellow wallpaper in her nursery grows stronger. According to her diary, she begins to smell the wallpaper all around the mansion. At some point, the narrator even considers burning the place down, as it causes her too much suffering.
She rejects this idea. The narrator decides to unravel the house’s mysteries, specifically the yellow wallpaper. When she catches Jennie examining the wall, the narrator suspects that she might have a rival. So, she is determined to act quickly, fueled by her obsession. She believes that she found a woman trapped in the yellow pattern of the wallpaper and decides to set her free.
When Charlotte Gilman’s novel reaches its climax, the narrator tears the wallpaper down. She thinks she has released the woman and goes completely insane. The narrator now associates herself with the woman from the wall and refuses to leave the room. As John returns home, he finds his wife crawling on the floor and faints. But the narrator keeps crawling in circles over her husband’s body.